at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
Auckland - The Auckland Blues dealt a severe blow to the Wellington Hurricanes' playoff hopes, prevailing 37-24 in a bonus point victory in their all-New Zealand Super Rugby clash on Saturday.
A penalty try in the first quarter shifted the momentum in favour of the home side, who defended well in the first half to hold a 15-7 lead before stepping up a gear after the break to clinch the nine-try contest.
For the Blues, fly-half Ihaia West gave a good account of himself in his first start, while Lolagi Visinia, Jerome Kaino, George Moala and Patrick Tuipulotu all scored the tries at Eden Park.
The victory maintained the Blues' impressive home record while the Hurricanes now lie third in the tight New Zealand conference ahead of the international break.